Cambodia is a major tourist destination in south-east Asia due to its rich cultural history, gorgeous natural landscape and bustling cities. Travellers are well aware of the stunning temple complex of Angkor Wat, the vivacious capital of Phnom Penh {home to the famous Silver Pagoda} and the long, tourist-trap beaches of Sihanoukville port city.

While the above-mentioned attractions are enough to pay Cambodia a visit, it has so much more to offer. To do just that, here are five locations beyond Angkor Wat you must visit in Cambodia.

Kep Province

A tiny southern province, Kep is not your typical Cambodian destination holiday spot. There are no long, silky sandy beaches, and no central hub to shop, eat or stay at. However, the area has its own share of treasures. Kep is known for its delicious seafood, the Kep National Park {perfect for those who like trekking and hiking} and absolutely stunning sunsets.

The area initially catered to privileged French tourists in the early 1900s, and you an still find a plethora of dilapidated European villas dotting the scenery, which make for some rather stunning photos. There is also a small but vibrant butterfly farm, which you can access this via the National Park.

Cox & Kings Recommends: The islands of Veal Lumher and Koh Tonsay {or Rabbit Island} are known for their amazing seafood {especially the crabs at Veal Lumher}, beautiful beaches, snorkelling, and fishing.

Kratie Province

ck3Kratie Province hugs the Mekong river, and its capital—also called Kratie—is a great spot to set up a base to explore the region. The charming local population and surrounding wild, untouched lands rarely see too many tourists, especially in comparison to the southern provinces. Need another reason to go there? The river is home to the {rare} freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins, found just a few kilometres downstream from Kratie.

Cox & Kings Recommends: Rent a scooter to Kampi village, or take a tuk tuk, to witness the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins swimming in the Mekong river firsthand. On your way back, stop by the pagoda on Sambok Mountain in the evening to watch the sun set over Cambodia.

Koh Rong

ck4Cambodia’s second largest island, Koh Rong is just off the coast of the stretch of beaches at Sihanoukville. While those surrounding beaches are a major tourist hub, Koh Rong is a relatively untouched piece of prime natural beauty. A local ferry transports you from the mainland to the island, with a surprisingly low number of tourists actually making the trip. Pristine, clean beaches await at Koh Rong; perfect for those looking to lounge on the beach, away from the bustling mass of hawkers and foreign tourists.

Cox & Kings Recommends: Take a hike to Long Set Beach for a leisurely day of snorkelling. For the return journey, hop on a boat that will stop and let you swim around in the sparkling bioluminescent plankton. There are also tree-house bungalows that are well worth a visit {and stay}.

Sen Monorom

idome / Shutterstock.comA provincial capital, Sen Monorom is not so much a city as a huge village/town. The verdant surrounding area is dotted with waterfalls, most of which are easily accessible, and are great to visit if you’re more of a naturalist than a historian. One of Sen Monorom’s highlights {and most popular activities} is the Elephant Valley Project—a massive elephant sanctuary. The area is some hundreds of metres above sea level, and does not have the suffocating heat and crowded destinations of the surrounding Cambodian lowlands.

Cox & Kings Recommends: Visit the Bousra Waterfall for a swim and walk through gorgeous waterfalls. Walk, feed, swim with and wash the elephants at the Mondulkiri Project, a unique elephant experience. The Seima Biodiversity Conservation is another place worth a visit, to really get a feel of the varied biodiversity in the area.

Kampot

ck5Possibly one of the most popular destinations on our list, Kampot is the charming capital of the Kampot Province. Decrepit European-style architecture peppers the streets, and time seems to slow down as soon as you enter this sleepy little town. Lounge about Kampot with languid ease, or use it as a base to explore the Bokor National Park and the cave-temples of the surrounding area. The Bokor Hill Station, a French ghost town, is also located in the area, and makes for a fantastic photo-shoot.

Cox & Kings Recommends: Take one of the well-known firefly cruises on the river. If you’re feeling more active, go kite surfing, or even some stand-up paddle boarding on the waters.

Book your trip to Cambodia with Cox & Kings here.

This story is in partnership with Cox & Kings.